I again return to mirror the patterns of the boomerang generation of which I belong. Meaning, I'm inhabiting the room where I lived for 13 years of my childhood just a few yards from the room where my parents sleep. Yup, I'm living under my parents roof again. Why am I here I wonder? I don't have a job. I've been surviving with my back and it seems to be healing on its own without medical attention. I don't have more then two friends here it seems. I don't know what I'm doing. I don't have an immediate plan. Sure I have my more long-term plan in place. I know where I want to go, who I want to work with. I have my application all in order and communications beginning in that department but even that has been put on hold and outside of my control.
So what am I doing with myself now that I have finally come to a place in life where I have no responsibilities (oh I still have financial responsibilities but that's a bit different then taking care of kids or classes)? At this very moment I find myself sitting in a chair where I've sat many times before at the most chic/trendy coffee shop in this medium-sized college town where I was raised being bombarded by noise from a local jazz band. The music isn't bad, I just had come here for respite from the confusion of home only to be met by a bad too loud for this small venue and lots of college kids some of whom I vaguely recognize talking about the boys now at LCU and what they are doing and what kinds of guys they want to date and what types of weddings they want and all the things that sound completely ridiculous to me now. No, I don't think I'm too good for these conversations, honestly I think I'm just lonely and out of my element.
How does a person become a foreigner in their hometown anyway? I've only been away for just over two years. But my personal culture and world-view began to change long before I moved away. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to move away. In elementary school I knew I wanted to move to Colorado or someplace beautiful like that to enjoy the mountains and be secluded from all kinds of people. But as I grew up I never became the homebody-type that would enjoy living in solitude in the mountains. In high school my identity began to change in such a way that I felt distanced from people and like I couldn't be understood. My experiences were unique but so are the experiences of every other person who has ever lived. These things perhaps I didn't so much recognize at that age like I do now at least a little bit better. Either way, I was free after that point to develop understandings and beliefs somewhat independent from my peers. Peer pressure was an issue for me in many ways but at the same time, my identity was not completely dependent on what others thought of me or how well liked I was. What a blessing it was to have that stability going through college. Those were formative years for me especially as I traveled to far off places like China and took epic adventures with friends into New Mexico.
After three years of college I finally moved from my hometown not to the mountainous lands of Colorado but instead deep into the mid-west, the great windy city (less windy then Lubbock) Chicago. The Wheaton grad school attracted people from all over the world like Russia, China, India, Rwanda, Australia, Togo, Bolivia, Uruguay, Peru, and from every corner of the US. Those of us from the US were interested in being scattered to the far reaches of the world also. What a beautiful place to fellowship and grow. I am so grateful for this time of training among so many diverse and yet similarly-minded followers of Christ. What each of us had in common was a desire to glorify God completely with our lives wherever He may choose to send us or return us. I have never been understood so well or when my opinions where different from those I was around I have never been so well listened to and respected.
And from that nurturing environment I have returned home. Now what?